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Anecdotally, I suspect it is. Adjusting for age and weight, there seem to be more pretty girls than ever before. If you opened two high school yearbooks side by side, one from 2007 and one from 1987, and restricted your sample size to those girls who weren’t overweight, I bet you’d come away with the impression that the girls of 2007 look better. And it’s not makeup; it’s a real difference in facial bone structure.
Changes in the culture are happening to shift the beauty spectrum rightward.
- Birth control, especially condoms since that is the form of contraceptive that can be controlled by men, is putting selection pressure on what kinds of women are winning the genetic sweepstakes. With birth control, men are no longer having kids with the first women who will sleep with them. They are trading up to find that great-looking woman for whom they can finally ditch the condom and seriously entertain the notion of having children. It doesn’t take much of a change in mating patterns — even a slight shift in the numbers of children born to hot chicks versus plain or ugly chicks will make a noticeable impact after a few generations.
- While dumber women are having more kids than educated smarter women, alpha males — the ones making the beaucoup bucks, slapping backs at parties, and sporting Mitt Romney lantern jaws — are having more kids than the beta males. How does this happen? Answer: Serial monogamy and mistresses. Beauty and IQ correlate to a degree as smart guys tend to marry hot women, so you’ll find proportionately more smart hotties than dumb hotties, but there are still plenty of beautiful women of middling social class that will turn the eye of an alpha male. So when the high IQ wife of 15 years who bore her alpha husband 1.2 children gets old and unattractive, he turns her in for a younger woman, oftentimes a less ambitious woman because he’s learned his lesson, and has children with her. Result: More daughters born to alpha male fathers are beautiful than those born to beta fathers.
- Women are settling less than they did in the past, at least during their prime years (17 to 26). I’ve gone over the reasons for this before. Their financial independence, higher status relative to men, and entitledness are working in concert to delay marriage and childbirth, lengthening the time they hold out for their ideal Mr. Right. Marriage and two kids with a mediocre provider beta has been swapped for a swingers life of contraceptively insured sex with a small pool of desireable alphas. See: Sex and the City. Result: Women who do have kids during their prime fertile years are likely to have them with the strong seed of an alpha, thus ensuring a higher number of hottie daughters.
- Obesity. No analysis of continuing human natural selection in the U.S. is complete without a nod to the obesity epidemic. Obesity reduces fertility. And men find it repulsive. The consequence is selection pressure for children born to attractive thin women by quality men, contributing to the increase in beauty among the daughters of those quality fathers.
Beauty is a commodity, like gold or athleticism, and any increase or decrease of it in the general female population will have profound effects on the dating market. More supply means lowered demand and more hot babes giving blowjobs on the first date. Less supply means greater demand and more hot babes thanking guys for expensive dinners with a peck on the cheek.
The trick is to game women as if their beauty was oversupplied.